Wednesday, October 18, 2017

UPDATE: “Help Wanted: Leaders Who Can Provide Stability”, by Jeff Perlman.

Maybe a coincidence. Maybe not. Excerpts from the blog post by Jeff Perlman dated October 9th are below. Datelined yesterday, Oct. 17th, is this article by Lulu Ramadan titled, “Delray mayor won’t run for re-election; others vie for vacant seat”:

Delray Beach Mayor Cary Glickstein won’t be campaigning to retain his seat at the top of the city, he announced Tuesday.
     “Whoever takes my place, I’ll be rooting for you,” Glickstein said at a city meeting.

If you don’t have 15–20 minutes to spare right now to read, absorb, and understand the entire blog post dated October 9th by Jeff Perlman, then save this link into your browser and read it all in its entirety later on. It’s a lengthy and fascinating read.

Below are 3 excerpts from Perlman’s post and just this short read will shock many of you.

Briefly, the oft-told narratives in the press are that Delray Beach is a political nirvana and that other cities like our City of Lake Worth are a dysfunctional mess. What you’ll read below will shatter that myth once and for all, especially for residents of our City of Lake Worth, and elsewhere, who’ve come to believe Delray is the “Beacon on the Hill”, a “city on the cutting edge” in County politics.

Also note that the “spin” The Palm Beach Post likes to weave about ‘Good Ole Lake Worth’ using their newspaper monopoly in North and Central Palm Beach County isn’t just one tool in the box. “Spinning”, or trying to “Wag the Dog” is a tool that cuts both ways as you’ll read in the last excerpt below.

One last thing before delving into
Perlman’s blog post.

If you ever get the opportunity to attend a talk by Mr. Perlman, make the time and go. I’ve attended several, including one at the “Bourbon Sprawl” in West Palm Beach where Perlman talked about how crucial it is for local governments in the County to collaborate in planning and problem-solving. Maybe it’s just a coincidence — but a lot of things began to change after his “Lake Worth Talk” early in 2016 — and most everyone will agree for the better.

Without further ado. . .

We [Delray Beach] are about to choose a city manager from what everyone seems to think was a pretty thin list of candidates.”

And, “Delray was the city on the
cutting edge. . . . A city of vision,
promise and innovation.”

“When government organizations get frightened, they seize up like an engine without oil. It’s safer to keep your head down than to rock the boat. The best minds — if situations permit — will leave as soon as they can. We are losing talent to Lake Worth, Boynton Beach and other cities. [emphasis added] That hardly ever happened.”

and. . . 

    I get the desire of a City Manager to control the flow of information, but I remember learning an immense amount from listening to and reading the work of our planning, financial, engineering, parks and public safety personnel. There is a middle ground which always includes the manager, but also enables policymakers to glean knowledge from subject area experts so they can make good decisions.
     I was a young reporter here in the 1980s when we last suffered from instability at City Hall caused by strife on the dais. City Hall was a revolving door in those days. Then we had a landmark election that saw Tom Lynch, Jay Alperin and David Randolph sweep into office and we enjoyed a long run of stability, innovation, achievement, civic pride, community unity and problem solving. They set an example for future leaders.
     At the time, staff remarked at how civil the Mayor and commission were — respectful of their professional acumen while still able to hold people accountable. I went to every meeting in those days. And I can tell you the mayor and commissioners questioned staff vigorously, but always respectfully. Assumptions were challenged and decisions were made. Not all were correct, but the batting average was really good and so we had progress. Lots and lots of progress.”

and the final excerpt. . .

     “A follow up story in the Post covering Commissioner Shelly Petrolia’s run for Mayor noted the ‘chaos’ and turnover at City Hall. That’s a good story — but the Post enabled Commissioner Petrolia too artfully — but falsely — shift the blame to Mayor Glickstein. People all over town had a good laugh over that spin.
     Sorry, but you own your fair share of the chaos after 5 years. Readers of this blog know I am no fan of Mr. Glickstein. But in fairness, he can’t be blamed for all of the chaos, dysfunction and lack of progress on everything ranging from Congress Avenue to the Old School Parks Plan. It takes three elected officials to tango.
     Coincidentally, that’s how many seats are up this March.

Interestingly, the City of Lake Worth also has its fair share of challenging issues to deal with, e.g., the Historic Preservation program and all the issues with the Lake Worth Casino.

And like Delray, “that’s how many seats [three] are up this March” in the City of Lake Worth’s elections on March 13th, 2018, just 153 days away. And as Mr. Perlman noted in the final excerpt above,

“Sorry, but you own your fair share of
the chaos after 5 years.”